Wilson Island is now Open: Wilson Island and all facilities are now open. No reservations will be taken for campsites or shelters in 2014. All amenities will be first come first serve.

Wilson Island State Recreation Area, IA

Welcome to Wilson Island State Recreation Area, named after former Governor George Wilson, which came into being as an island sandbar in 1900. Today, Wilson Island State Recreation Area encompasses 544 acres of dense cottonwood stands. Seclusion is one of the area's greatest assets...
Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
Max reservation window: Fri Jan 02 2015   Later Dates

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Alerts and Important Information
An Iowa or Nebraska fishing license is required for fishing the Missouri River and Wilson Island.

As a recreation area, Wilson Island is open for public hunting in season. Care should be exercised by both hunters and non-hunters during hunting seasons.

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Site# Loop Site type Max # of people Equip length/ Driveway Amenities Online availability
Campsite Search Results: 1-25 of 139 Previous | Next
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 60 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 63 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 63 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 60 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 52 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 68 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 63 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 65 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 50 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 52 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 62 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 64 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 60 Pull-Through
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 60 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 60 Pull-Through
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 64 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 67 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 48 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 64 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 60 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 55 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 67 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 65 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 60 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Wilson Island Campground Standard Electric 6 62 Back-In
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
** Arrival dates earlier than the online-reservation-window may also be available at the campground.
Photos
Photo: Wilson Island State Recreation Area Photo: Wilson Island State Recreation Area Photo: Wilson Island State Recreation Area Photo: Wilson Island State Recreation Area Photo: Wilson Island State Recreation Area Photo: Wilson Island State Recreation Area
Overview

Description

Welcome to Wilson Island State Recreation Area, named after former Governor George Wilson, which came into being as an island sandbar in 1900. Today, Wilson Island State Recreation Area encompasses 544 acres of dense cottonwood stands. Seclusion is one of the area's greatest assets as well as shady campsites, hiking trails and picnic spots.

Wildlife is abundant in the recreation area and visitors may see deer grazing in the fields or be awakened by a huge flock of snow geese flying low overhead. Bald eagles are often perched in the tall cottonwoods during the winter and mushroom hunters will find no better place in the spring. On the way to Wilson Island, notice the unique wave-like loess hills that overlook the great Missouri River floodplain.

These rugged loess hills are only found in Iowa, Missouri and China. Early history tells us that Lewis and Clark camped on this reach of the Missouri River in 1804 on their historic voyage of discovery.

Recreation:

River Activities
The Missouri River is another large draw for visitors. You can cast a line in the "mighty Mo" with the hopes of hauling out a giant catfish. The area's river and chute boat ramps let anglers and recreational boaters get out on the water.

Trails
Six miles of multi-use trails are a great way to experience Wilson Island. Biking, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are all acceptable ways to travel. Depending on the route, the trail may wind along the backwater chute and river, providing access to these water bodies, or run through the dense cottonwood stands that cover most of the area.

Hunting
As a recreational area most of Wilson Island, except the campground and other developed sites, is open for public hunting. Deer hunting and waterfowl hunting in the backwater area are the primary sports.

Facilities:

Picnicking/Shelters
A picnic area with shelters is located along the shoreline of the Missouri River. Two open shelters can be reserved up to 12 months in advance for your event.

Camping
Camping is very popular at Wilson Island because of its well shaded and spacious campsites. The campground has modern showers and restrooms, nonelectric and electric campsites and two large youth group campsites that can be reserved in advance. A playground is located near the campground.

Cabin
A nonmodern camping cabin with heat and air conditioning is available year-round. The cabin has no water or sanitary facilities furnished but is near the campground shower and restrooms. In winter there is a frost free hydrant for drinking water and a vault toilet. Renters must provide their own bedding, pillows, towels, toiletry items, cooking utensils, pots and pans, and dinnerware.

Nearby Attractions:

Immediately north of Wilson Island is the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge. The 7,800 acre area includes a seven-mile-long oxbow lake, which provides a great fishery and stopover for migratory waterfowl. The refuge is also well known for the Vertrand Steamboat exhibit housed in the visitor center. For further details contact The visitor center at (712) 642-4121.

The Watson Steam Train is located in the Missouri Valley city park. Restored in 2009, the 1947 Ottaway steam and 1953 Ottaway diesel engines are housed in a new Museum and are available for children to ride on weekends.

Nearby Towns
Missouri Valley, Iowa is located 11 miles northeast of Wilson Island. The Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area is located 25 miles south of the recreation area.

Booking Window

Shelters

Thu Oct 09 2014 - Fri Oct 02 2015

Reservations must be made 7 Days(s) ahead of arrival and can be made up to 12 Month(s) in advance.

Standard Electric

Sat Oct 04 2014 - Fri Jan 02 2015

Reservations must be made 2 Days(s) ahead of arrival and can be made up to 3 Month(s) in advance.

Standard Non-Electric

Sat Oct 04 2014 - Fri Jan 02 2015

Reservations must be made 2 Days(s) ahead of arrival and can be made up to 3 Month(s) in advance.

Youth Group Only

Sat Oct 04 2014 - Fri Jan 02 2015

Reservations must be made 2 Days(s) ahead of arrival and can be made up to 3 Month(s) in advance.

Season Dates

Season Schedule

Park Season Start End
Off Peak Wed Oct 01 2014 Fri Oct 31 2014
Walk In Sat Nov 01 2014 Wed Dec 31 2014
Walk In Thu Jan 01 2015 Tue Mar 31 2015
Off Peak Wed Apr 01 2015 Thu Apr 30 2015
Peak Fri May 01 2015 Wed Sep 30 2015
Off Peak Thu Oct 01 2015 Sat Oct 31 2015
Services and Amenities
Within Facility
  • Bird Watching
  • Boat Launch Ramp
  • Boating
  • Dock, Boat
  • Dump Station
  • Firewood Sales
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Jet Skiing
  • Modern Restroom
  • Motel
  • PICNIC AREA
  • PICNICKING
  • Park Office
  • Parking
  • Playground
  • RESTROOMS
  • River
  • Showers
  • Toilet, Pit/Vault
  • Trash Dumpster
  • WILDFLOWER VIEWING
  • Water Hydrants
  • Water Skiing
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Fuel, Vehicles
  • RETAIL, BAIT & TACKLE
  • RETAIL, DRINKS
  • RETAIL, ICE
Greater Than 10 Miles
  • ATM/CASH MACHINE
  • CHURCH
  • GROCERY STORE
  • Hospital
  • Medical Clinic
  • Town
Local Attractions
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Fees and Cancellation Policies

Facility Rates*
Park Season Site Type Nightly/Daily Rates
Off Peak Season
Oct 01 2014 -
Oct 31 2014
Youth Group Only $15.00
Standard Non-Electric $6.00
Standard Electric $11.00
Shelters $25.00
Walk In Season
Nov 01 2014 -
Dec 31 2014
Youth Group Only $15.00
Standard Non-Electric $6.00
Standard Electric $11.00
Shelters $25.00
Walk In Season
Jan 01 2015 -
Mar 31 2015
Youth Group Only $15.00
Standard Non-Electric $6.00
Standard Electric $11.00
Shelters $25.00
Off Peak Season
Apr 01 2015 -
Apr 30 2015
Youth Group Only $15.00
Standard Non-Electric $6.00
Standard Electric $11.00
Shelters $25.00
Peak Season
May 01 2015 -
Sep 30 2015
Youth Group Only $15.00
Standard Non-Electric $11.00
Standard Electric $16.00
Shelters $25.00
Off Peak Season
Oct 01 2015 -
Oct 31 2015
Youth Group Only $15.00
Standard Non-Electric $6.00
Standard Electric $11.00
Shelters $25.00

*Displayed rates do not reflect discounts, attribute fees (electrical hook-ups / water hook-ups), taxes or incremental charges
**Weekly rates may not be available for all sites
Getting There
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
41.4825, -96.005
41°28'57"N, 96°0'18"W

From Interstate 29, take exit 72. Go west on DeSoto Avenue six miles. Wilson Island is on the left. From Hwy 30, take County Road L16 south five miles to DeSoto Avenue. Go west 2 miles. Wilson Island is on left.
Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Wilson Island State Recreation Area
32801 Campground Lane
Missouri Valley  IA  51555

Phone Number:

Project Office: (712) 642 - 2069
Additional Information